Colonial Williamsburg explores the music of early America with its four-day Early Music Festival from September 25th to 28th.

The festival showcases 18th century music, including rare musical performances and special performances by dancer Paige Whitley-Bauguess and trumpet soloist Barry Bauguess. The festival is presented in the art museums of Colonial Williamsburg, the Governor’s Palace and the Wren Chapel of the College of William & Mary’s.

The events on September 25 include:

  • Music from Colonial Williamsburg: The First 50 Years, 2 p.m., DeWitt Wallace Museum of Decorative Arts. Jane Hanson, Colonial Williamsburg Music and Dance Supervisor, traces the first 50 years of Colonial Williamsburg’s music program. Entry is via an Early Music Festival ticket or a separate $ 10 ticket that can be purchased from 1-800-HISTORY or at any Colonial Williamsburg ticket office. William and Mary students are free on presentation of a Colonial Williamsburg Collegiate Pass.
  • Williamsburg Music, 3:15 pm, DeWitt Wallace Museum of Decorative Arts. Experience the variety of music in the 18th century colonial capital of Virginia during the screening of this 1961 film. Reservation is required free of charge and can be made by calling 1-800-HISTORY. Admission is with an Early Music Festival ticket, a Revolutionary City ticket, an annual, Good Neighbor or Museum pass.
  • Castle concert: From the collection, 7.30 p.m., Ballroom of the Governor’s Palace. The Governor’s Musick, the resident ensemble of Colonial Williamsburg, plays music using several instruments from the Foundation’s collection, including an 18th century violin, a rare 16th century viola, an 18th century English cello. Entry is granted via an Early Music Festival ticket or a separate ticket valued at $ 16 for adults and $ 8 for teenagers, which can be purchased through 1-800-HISTORY or a Colonial Williamsburg ticket office.

The events of September 26th include:

  • “Musicians of various and different kinds”: The Musical Soundscape of Williamsburg in the Late 18th Century, 2:00 p.m., DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Katherine Preston of the College of William and Mary provides an overview of music in the life of the Williamsburg community in the 18th century. Music for home, theater, church, slave quarters and workplaces is explored. Guests can also view some of the music collections owned by Williamsburg residents. Entry is via an Early Music Festival ticket or a separate $ 10 ticket that can be purchased from 1-800-HISTORY or at any Colonial Williamsburg ticket office. William and Mary students are free on presentation of a Colonial Williamsburg Collegiate Pass.
  • “Ear to Ear: Colonial Williamsburg’s Presentation of Afro-American Music Over 30 Years” 3:15 pm, DeWitt Wallace Museum of Decorative Arts. Harvey Bakari, African-American research historian from Colonial Williamsburg, highlights the challenges of interpreting African-American music in 18th century Virginia. Discover how research and performance by adults and children contributed to the CD recording of From Ear to Ear: The Passage of African Music through American Slavery. Entry is via an Early Music Festival ticket or a separate $ 10 ticket that can be purchased from 1-800-HISTORY or at any Colonial Williamsburg ticket office. William and Mary students are free on presentation of a Colonial Williamsburg Collegiate Pass.
  • Music for trumpet, organ and timpani, 7:30 p.m., Wren Chapel, College of William and Mary. Barry Bauguess, festival guest artist, baroque trumpets; Tom Marshall, William and Mary Faculty, Organ; and Lance Pedigo, Drum Major, Colonial Williamsburg, Timpani; present a concert with moving music from courtyards, chapels and concert halls of the 17th and 18th centuries. Entry is via an Early Music Festival ticket or a separate $ 18 ticket that can be purchased through 1-800-HISTORY or at any Colonial Williamsburg ticket office.

The Thursday events include:

  • Early drum tablature, 2 p.m., DeWitt Wallace Museum of Decorative Arts. John Moon, former music director of Colonial Williamsburg and former chief drum major of the Guards Brigade and the British Army, will give this talk on the history of drum notation and how different examples can be interpreted. Entry is via an Early Music Festival ticket or a separate $ 10 ticket that can be purchased from 1-800-HISTORY or at any Colonial Williamsburg ticket office. William and Mary students are free on presentation of a Colonial Williamsburg Collegiate Pass.
  • The art of military music, 3:15 pm, DeWitt Wallace Museum of Decorative Arts. Barry Bauguess, baroque trumpets; Lance Pedigo, drums; and Timothy Sutphin, director of music, military, and evening programs for Colonial Williamsburg, Fife; present musical examples of military music use in the 17th and 18th centuries. Entry is via an Early Music Festival ticket or a separate ticket for $ 10 to 1-800-HISTORY or at a Colonial Williamsburg ticket office. William and Mary students are free on presentation of a Colonial Williamsburg Collegiate Pass.
  • Evening in the theater: The Walking Statue, 7:30 p.m., Kimball Theater. This special performance of the current play in Colonial Williamsburg’s historic theater suite provides the entertainments that 18th guest artist Paige Whitley-Bauguess will enjoy. Entry is via an Early Music Festival ticket or a separate ticket valued at $ 16 for adults and $ 8 for teenagers, which can be purchased through 1-800-HISTORY or a Colonial Williamsburg ticket office.

The Friday events include:

  • Dancing in London: English contributions to the art form, 2 p.m., DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Paige Whitley-Bauguess presents a talk and demonstration on English dance in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Enjoy a demonstration of dances and characters associated with Hester Santlow, along with a brief introduction to a specifically English type of dance, the hornpipe. Entry is via an Early Music Festival ticket or a separate $ 10 ticket that can be purchased from 1-800-HISTORY or at any Colonial Williamsburg ticket office. William and Mary students are free on presentation of a Colonial Williamsburg Collegiate Pass.
  • Joys of dance, 3:15 pm, DeWitt Wallace Museum of Decorative Arts. Williamsburg colonial-era dance instructor Marcy Wright taught basic steps in colonial English country dance to thousands of Foundation guests on this popular year-round program. Entry is via an Early Music Festival ticket or a separate $ 10 ticket that can be purchased from 1-800-HISTORY or at any Colonial Williamsburg ticket office. William and Mary students are free on presentation of a Colonial Williamsburg Collegiate Pass.
  • Castle concert: The trumpet should sound at 7.30 p.m., Governor’s Palace. A music evening at the end of the Early Music Festival with the Colonial Williamsburg-based ensemble The Governor’s Musick and the festival guest Barry Bauguess, baroque trumpet. A reception with the artists follows in the Governor’s Palace East Advance building. Entry is via an Early Music Festival ticket or a separate ticket valued at $ 25, which can be purchased through 1-800-HISTORY or at any Colonial Williamsburg ticket office.

Registration for the four-day conference is $ 175 per person and includes all listed programs, a closing reception, and a ticket to Revolutionary City through Sunday, September 30th. Program attendees can sign up for two optional tours – A Special Look at the 18th Century Colonial-Era Williamsburg Collection of Music and the Conservation Lab Tour.

Register for the conference online at www.history.org/conted or call 1-800-603-0948 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Registration for the conference is open on Tuesday, September 25, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.

Always be informed. Click here for the latest news and information in your inbox